What’s the Secret Word, Dahling? Scream Real Loud!

Photo by Lee Wexler.

Two more features for AOL’s recently launched City’s Best.

The first feature is on my personal hero, Pee-Wee Herman, and The Pee-Wee Herman Show, now on Broadway .

Story continues below.

Here is an excerpt:

Experiencing Pee-Wee live is being like a sugar-addicted kid in the proverbial candy store with an American Express Centurion Card. Besides jocular Jambi, the mortals are wonky Mailman Mike (John Moody), studly Sergio (Jesse Garcia), cowhide-clad Cowboy Curtis (Phil LaMarr), the royal King of Cartoons (Lance Roberts), a rather well-equipped firefighter (Josh Meyers) and, most fabulous of all, Miss Yvonne (Lynne Marie Stewart), “the most beautiful woman in puppetland.” And she is.

Speaking of puppets, gimmicks, shtick, gags and anthropomorphic characters, there’s fun there, too: Chairry, Conky, Magic Screen, Pterri, Randy, Globey, Mr. Window, Clockey, Conky, a Penny cartoon, a monster ball of foil ball, pen pal letters, glubbing fish and — and — and — fun! (Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!)

To read the rest, click here.

The second one is on Broken Nails: A Marlene Dietrich Dialogue:

Photo by Lee Wexler.

…But it doesn’t change the fact that Dietrich’s dotage was a neurotic orgy, with the great star opting to be bedridden and communicating only by phone or mail. True, Dietrich epitomized vanity, but she outdid herself when she participated in Maximilian Schell’s great 1984 documentary on her by refusing to go on camera.

Broken Nails: A Marlene Dietrich Dialogue is a bid to see past the haze of ambiguity into which she retreated. Skubik, who is Polish, is globally acclaimed for her puppetry — and puppetry, it turns out, is a great way to picture Dietrich’s sullen scene as she set it. There’s Dietrich, all dyed hair and skin stretched like canvas, and there’s her maid, Gloria, beauty untainted.

To read the rest, click here.